by Nick Upton
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Bird Sightings (April 2008)
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27/04/08 : A morning trip to Bang Pra on the 26th April turned up a large number of species, most interesting species were; 100s of Oriental Pratincoles, 4 calling Chinese Francolins (not seen), 2 Spotted Owlets, 1 male Watercock, a pair of Vinous-breasted Starlings, 1 Crow-billed Drongo and 7 Painted Storks (from the feral colony at Khao Khieo open zoo). Winter migrants still present included 2 Red-rumped Swallows, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Brown Shrikes, 1 Asian Brown Flycatcher, 1 tschutschensis Yellow Wagtail, numerous singing Oriental and Black-browed Reed Warblers, 1 female Black-naped Oriole, 1 leucogenis Ashy Drongo, a few Chinese Pond Herons, 1 Osprey and 2 Common Sandpipers.

In the afternoon of 26th April, at Soi 119 near Bang Poo, 1 male Asian Golden Weaver, 1 Juvenile Rosy Starling and 1 Grey-headed Lapwing were the highlights. Other birds of interest were 10 Cotton Pygmy Geese, 2 White-browed Crakes, 9 Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, 1 male & 1 female Watercock, a flock of 20+ Yellow Wagtails of mixed race and numerous Whiskered and White-winged Terns were still present. Asian Openbills were present in large numbers.

By far the most interesting bird at Bang Poo on the afternoon of 26th April was a breeding plumage Indian Pond Heron. Small numbers of shorebirds were still present including Lesser Sand Plover, Common Greenshank, Pacific Golden Plover. About 700 Brown-headed Gulls were still to be seen and other lingering winter migrants included Chinese Pond Heron, Black-capped Kingfisher, White-winged Tern and Whiskered Tern.

The above sightings from Bang Pra, Soi 119 and Bang Poo were made by Nick Upton and Dierdre Robinson.

21/04/08 : On the 19th over 1000 Frigatebirds (presumably mostly Lesser) were still frequenting Ko Bida, near Ko Phi Phi with "some" of them being Christmas Island Frigatebirds.

On the 18th April 3 Ruddy Kingfishers were seen in the grounds of the Maritime Hotel.

2 Pale-capped Pigeons were seen coming in to roost on the islands off of Hat Nopparat Thara on the 7th April. 1 Blue-throated Bee-eater was also seen but the "White-faced" Plovers were absent.

The above sightings from Ko Bida, Krabi and Hat Nopparat Thara were made by Larry Wheatland.

On 17th April 1 Bridled Tern and 1 Christmas Island Frigatebird were seen on the crossing from Ko Lanta to Ko Phi Phi.

Pomarine Skuas were seen in "double figures", Bridled Terns were "common" and at least 1 Sooty Tern was seen on a boat from Ko Lanta to Ko Lipe on the 24th March.

The above sightings from Ko Lanta, Phi Phi and Lipe were made by Andy Adcock.

20/04/08 : 1 male Streaked Weaver and a singing Manchurian Reed Warbler were found at Muang Boran Fishponds on 19th April. Other birds of interest were a colony of 15-20 Asian Golden Weavers, 1 Oriental Skylark and 4 male Watercocks.

Also on the 19th, at Tung Bang Jak, a colony of weavers contained at least 7 male Streaked Weavers and a single pair of Asian Golden Weavers. Also of interest were 2 pairs of Pink-necked Green Pigeons and numerous Chestnut Munias associating with Baya Weavers.

On the same day 3 Grey-tailed Tattlers were at Pak Thale and 5 Painted Storks were present in the Laem Pak Bia area. On the sand bar at Laem Pak Bia 14 Great Crested Terns and 2 Lesser Crested Terns were still present.

The above sightings from Muang Boran Fishponds, Tung Bang Jak and Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale were made by Nick Upton and Ashley Banwell.

On 17th April a group of 7 Red-billed Blue Magpies were seen at Phuttamonton Park. Also of interest was a flock of 20+ Black Drongos on migration inassociation with 10+ Black-naped Orioles. - Nick Upton.

700 Citrine Wagtails were present on the Mekong, Chiang Saen, on the 6th April. - Mick Davies & Dowroong Danlamajak.

Most notable birds from a trip in February were 1 Ruddy Kingfisher, 1 Streak-breasted Woodpecker and 3 Mangrove Pittas at Phang Nga mangroves on 12th February 2008 and a Malaysian Eared Nightjar from Trang Botanical Gardens on 14th February 2008. - Jim Holmes.

16/04/08 : At Pak Thale, on 15th April, 5 Red-necked Phalaropes were still on the same pool they have favoured all winter .

At nearby Laem Pak Bia 1 Black-faced Spoonbill was seen in flight at the regular spot and 25 Painted Storks were present. At the sand spit 1 Grey-tailed Tattler was seen along with 1 Chinese Egret and on the sand bar, roosting terns included Caspian, Lesser Crested, Great Crested, Common, Little, Whiskered and White-winged Terns. 2 Pied Avocets were seen in flight heading towards the mudflats. At the King's Project area 1500-2000 Blue-tailed Bee-eaters came in to roost in the mangroves and 2 Indian Nightjars were seen on the road.

At Tung Bang Jak 1 male Watercock, 1 male Pink-necked Pigeon, a few Asian Golden Weavers amongst numerous flocks of 100s Baya Weavers and 3 male Chestnut Munias were the highlights.

The above sightings from Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale & Tung Bang Jak were made by Nick Upton, Mark Thomas, Jenny Atkins & Jason Goodwin.

07/04/08 : A female Watercock was seen at Soi 119 (4-5 km east of Bang Poo) and many Whiskered and White-winged Terns in breeding plumage were viewed at close range from Bang Poo pier on 6th April. - Nick Upton.

A recent tour of Thailand resulted in some interesting birds. On 26-27th March, at Doi Inthanon, 3 Chestnut Thrushes, 1 Dark-sided Thrush and a female Orange-flanked Bush Robin were found at the summit. At Mr Daeng's, 2 dark-sided Thrushes were present at the stakeout. 1 male Daurian Redstart was present in the orchard near Km 30 and 15 Blossom-headed Parakeets were seen at the pre-roost stakeout outside of the park.

2 Little Buntings were found at the Chinese Cemetary, Doi Ang Kang and 1 Dark-sided Thrush was in the company of 2 male Black-breasted Thrushes behind the restaurant of the King's Project on 24-25th March.

Highlights from Doi Lang, 21st - 23rd March, were 1 female Jerdon's Bushchat, 1 Green Cochoa, 10 Oriental Turtle Doves, a Jerdon's Baza eating a snake, 1 female Daurian Redstart, 2 Red-faced Liocichlas, 2 male and 2 female Spot-winged Grosbeaks, 2 Crested Buntings and 4+ Black-throated Tits.

More than 220 Small Pratincoles and 4 River Lapwings were seen on the Mekong north of Chiang Saen (20-21st March).

From 15-19th March, at Kaeng Krachan, a Ferruginous Partridge was seen at Km 10 and others were heard in various other places in the park, 3 Bar-backed Partridges and a Grey Peacock Pheasant were seen at Km 18 and Tickell's Brown Hornbill was still at its nest at Km 17. Dusky, Black-and-yellow and Banded Broadbills were all found in the area between Ban Krang and Km 16 with a Chestnut-winged Cuckoo at Km 16 on 2 days. A Black-backed Kingfisher was found at Km 17 and 2 Ratchet-tailed Treepies at Km 28-29 and a Ferruginous Flycatcher at Km 28.

The above sightings from Kaeng Krachan, Chiang Saen, Doi Lang, Doi Ang Kang and Doi Inthanon were kindly submitted by Marc Thibault and Frederic Le Gouis.

06/04/08 : On 3rd April 3 Grey-tailed Tattlers and a Chinese Egret were seen at Laem Pakarang. On the 2nd April 3 Great Hornbills and 3 Black Eagles were seen at Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary. - Johan Buckens.

04/04/08 : Some interesting raptor migration has been reported from Ko Tao with 6 Pied Harriers on the 2nd April, 4 Black Bazas, 6 Pied Harriers and an Indian Cuckoo on the morning of the 29th March along with about 50 Pied harriers in the afternoon. Amazingly, on the 28th March, over 200 Ospreys were sighted as well as 4 Oriental Honey-buzzards and 2 Pied Harriers. - Slade Sapora.

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